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Larger classrooms, many windows and fresh outdoor landscaping has brought life to the Provo Missionary Training Center like never before. Add to that original artwork designed specifically for the space, and the new facilities are a welcome addition for missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Missionaries walk the grounds of the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 3,700 missionaries. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Tours for the new facility will be open to the public on Monday and will continue through Aug. 19. For those who are unable to attend the open house and for those who plan to attend but who want an idea of what to expect, here are the highlights of the Provo MTC Open House tour.

Art

Long strands of fiber dangle from the ceiling in one of the connecting lobbies, holding transparent shapes that hover in the air like so many butterflies. Swirling around the earth, the objects bathe the planet in light, acting as an ethereal bridge between heaven and mortality.

Art work hangs in the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 3,700 missionaries. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“It was intended to represent spirits coming from heaven down to the earth,” MTC administrative director Kelly Mills said. “It was intended to depict the plan of salvation.”

The commissioned dual-purpose art piece and light fixture is only one of many items intended to inspire missionaries to go out and preach the gospel to the world. Each floor also features scenes of digital artwork depicting actors dressed as scriptural figures such as Moses, Nephi, Esther and Martha.

Missionaries walk through the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 3,700 missionaries. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“The idea is it’s a life-size image that draws missionaries into the story,” Mills said.

The magnitude of the artwork makes a lasting impression on missionaries and helps them ponder the scriptures more deeply, he said. Specifically designed for the MTC, the images are unique to the two new buildings.

Interior

The Provo MTC expansion has allowed for increased instruction space and was painstakingly designed with the outdoors in mind, to help missionaries feel more connected with one another and with the divine.

Missionaries study Spanish at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 3,700 missionaries. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“The classroom size is larger, the ceiling height is higher, the windows are, of course, much more expansive,” Mills said. “It also allows missionaries to see out, to see the creations of God.”

The view from one window extends all the way to Santaquin. Common study areas with such views are popular retreats for missionaries, and motivational scriptures and photos on the walls help them stay focused on their work. Brightly painted green and yellow hallways add to the uplifting atmosphere.

Elders Brigham Blackhurst and Andrew James study at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 3,700 missionaries. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The grounds

Missionaries are encouraged to step outside and get a breath of fresh air when they need to. In fact, the facility’s benches and tables are used for formal instruction when classes need a change of scenery.

The underground parking spaces — 320 to be exact — eliminate any surrounding asphalt space, providing room for a water fixture and additional landscaping. A nearby terrace allows for a different perspective of the surroundings.

Missionaries study outside at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. New renovations have been made to accommodate 3,700 missionaries. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The banners lining the perimeter of the new MTC buildings contain words from Section 4 of the Doctrine & Covenants. Flags from 139 nations are rotated on a daily basis on the site’s 35 flagpoles.

See for yourself

Tours for the MTC expansion run July 31-Aug. 19. Additional tours for BYU Education Week attendees will be held Aug. 21-25. Tickets are free of charge and can be obtained through mtcopenhouse.lds.org. Parking accommodations and shuttles will be provided.



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